About 200 Burkinabes seek refuge in Ghana

About 200 Burkinabes from Zoaga-Zabre in the Northern Province of Burkina Faso fleeing chieftaincy conflict at the weekend arrived in Ghana to seek refuge.

They entered Ghana through the northwestern route to widnaba, Tilli and soogo communities in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region.

So far, 210 of them have been registered for consideration for refugee status by the Ghana Immigration Service and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in Zebilla the district capital

Madam Victoria Ayamba, District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Bawku West District who is also the Chairperson for the District Security Committee, disclosed this at the weekend after the district joint security committee visited the people to access their situation.

Madam Ayamba briefing the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the visit said majority of the people were hosted by local families, while some were hosted by chiefs in their palaces in the area.

Madam Ayamba said the refugees included; women and children who had fled from their homes to the area on foot for safety because most of their family members were killed and their homes burnt down.

The DCE said the Assembly, NADMO and other organisations would continue to monitor the situation and work on a response plan in case of an increase of arrivals, including the pre-positioning of relief items.

She hinted that the assembly with local authorities and host communities were providing the refuge seekers with emergency humanitarian aid including food and non-food items.

Madam Ayamba who presented relief items to the victims later called on the people not to panic as authorities were working to contain the situation, and called on government to assist them with food and other basic needs for their livelihood.

She urged other organisations including; the World Food Organisations (WHO), Action-Aid- Ghana, World Vision International-Ghana among others to support the Assembly to manage the situation.

Pastor Simon Azure, of the Calvary Chapel at Zoaga and a victim, on behalf of the refuge seekers commended the Ghana government for the support given to them.

Pastor Azure who narrated his ordeal to the GNA said, “I was at one of the communities in Zoaga on my usual evangelism tour when I received a phone call from a friend who said, “Zoaga township was on fire and that it was as result of a chieftaincy dispute.

He added that the two royal gates, the new chief and the old chief were fighting at a shrine and due to some misunderstanding, one person was killed at the spot and that escalated to the Zoaga township and other communities”. He said.

“I saw houses being burnt, there was smoke everywhere in the community not quite long, I received another phone call and I was told that the former mayor of Zabre was shot dead at the Assemblies of God Church pastor’s residence and so, my family, the new chief and other relatives run here for our lives,” he added.

Pastor Simon Azure called on other benevolent organisations to aid them with food and other basic needs to enable them live.

Source: GNA

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